10 of the best upcoming gadgets for 2012

It's a new year, which means there's a bucket load of new gadgets and tech to get ridiculously excited about…

Best gadgets of 2012 – Apple iPad 3

No surprises here – you voted the iPad 3 your most wanted future gadget in the 2011 Stuff Gadget Awards. From the moment Apple launched the iPad 2, iPad 3 speculation has been in serious overdrive.

2011 saw some great efforts from the Android camp, including Asus' original Transformer (winner of the Stuff's 2011 Product of the year award), and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 – but we're expecting Apple's next iPad effort to take things to a whole new level.

An eye-slicingly sharp 2048 x 1536 pixel 10in screen, a quad-core Tegra 3-baiting A6 processor and a carbon fibre case are just some of the rumoured specs for the iPad 3 that could see it setting the gold standard for tablets once again. Previous iPad launches point to a February or March release, so we're hoping it'll be putting in an appearance soon.

Want all the iPad 3 gossip? Check out all the rumours so far.

Best gadgets of 2012 – PlayStation Vita

Dubbed the "PS3 in your pocket," PlayStation's next-gen Vita handheld is a pocketable gaming powerhouse. With a quad-core ARM 9 processor feeding a 5in OLED touchscreen, a tactile back panel and dual cameras for augmented reality gaming, one thing is clear – Sony means business.

But have we all moved on to gaming on smartphones from Apple, Samsung and the rest? We'll find out next month when the PS Vita touches down in the UK. While you wait, check out our hands-on review.

Best gadgets of 2012 – Microsoft Windows 8

Microsoft's next OS has already tantalised our taste buds by strutting its stuff in a developer preview  – and you can see just how much by reading our first look review.

Its Windows Phone 7-style Metro UI offers a new level of interactivity for both PC and tablet users, promising an abundance of new features like Kinect for Windows for gesture based control, HTML5 applications which will make full use of online cloud services and ARM chip support – a clear sign Microsoft is taking its tablet efforts very seriously this time round.

Windows 8 is expected to launch its double attack on the PC and tablet world with a beta arriving in February – and an official launch towards the end of the year.

Best gadgets of 2012 – Samsung Galaxy III

Samsung's Galaxy S II certainly made its mark when it showed up on the smartphone scene – and it's still the best Android phone to buy. It's so good we named it our 2011 Phone of the Year.

Now, with the Galaxy S II almost approaching its first birthday, word on the virtual street suggests its successor – the appropriately named Galaxy S III – will come complete with a quad-core engine, 2GB of RAM, a 4.6in screen and a whopping 12MP camera.

Expect the Galaxy S III to be unveiled at the end of February during Mobile World Congress – and expect it to be more powerful than ever.

Best gadgets of 2012 – Apple TV

Not content with dominating the smartphone and tablet markets, Apple has its sights set on our living rooms. The future of TV, according to the rumours swirling around Cupertino, is AirPlay, mobile device synching and gesture controls.

Clearly the Apple TV will be more than just your average smart TV, with purported specs including the powerful A6 processor destined to arrive on the iPad 3, a giant Retina Display courtesy of Sharp and voice controls handled by the iPhone 4S Virtual Assistant, Siri.

Not only does iTV – as it has been dubbed – look set to revolutionise the television industry in the same way it has with the smartphone market, but Apple could be trying to engineer a shift away from traditional broadcast and satellite TV channels, if the rumours about Cupertino trying to buy up Premier League football rights are anything to go by.

The rumour mill points to a September release. Exciting.

Best gadgets of 2012 – Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon may not have given the official nod, but its first stab at the crowded Android tablet game could be winging its way to the UK in January… if the rumours are to be believed.

The Kindle Fire is certainly no iPad killer, in fact it's more of an anti-iPad, primarily concerned with providing a 3G-free mobile experience that's less about genre-shattering computing and more about staying amused on the train.

As long as you don't mind living your life in the cloud and compromising a little with Gingerbread 2.1, Amazon's colour tablet may very well be worth waiting for – especially if it's still half the cost of the iPad when it launches. There are high hopes for a January release. We're waiting with bated breath – in the mean time, check out our review of the Kindle Fire.

Best gadgets of 2012 – iPhone 5

It's fair to say there was widespread disappointment among Apple fanboys when Apple lifted the lid on the iPhone 4S as opposed to the iPhone 5 we were all secretly hoping for.

September could see the release of what feels like an overdue handset, but considering there was a 16-month gap between the release of the iPhone 4 and 4S – throwing a spanner into the traditional summer release pattern – Apple may not be gunning to relase an iPhone 5 so soon after the last model.

But a 4in screen, quad-core processor, thinner chassis, NFC and an integrated SIM sound worth the wait, don't you think? Want all the rumours so far? Our rumour round-up should bring you up to speed.

Best gadgets of 2012 – Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia gained back some of its cool cred towards the end of last year when it unveiled the Windows Phone 7-toting Lumia 800. Despite the paint barely drying on Nokia's latest and most excellent foray into WP7, an super-sized successor – complete with a 4.3in screen – is rumoured to launch at CES, the world's biggest consumer electronics show held in Las Vegas.

The exciting part? It will be debuting the new version of Windows Phone 7, otherwise known as Tango.

Best gadgets of 2012 – Netflix

The popular US video-on-demand service that offers thousands of films and TV shows for a monthly fee is crossing the pond in a bid to tempt us into signing up to its unlimited streaming service.

Attempts to woo us begin by offering the first month for free – like LoveFilm - as well as unlimited streaming, which means you can watch as many movies as you like without data restrictions.

Netflix will also throw up suggested viewing based on the stuff you and your friends like to watch. It'll be available on on the iPhone, iPad and Android, alongside the Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3 and Netflix is currently negotiating for its app to be included on smart TVs.

Excited? You should be. The best bit? Its launch is imminent.

Best gadgets of 2012 – Nintendo Wii U

The follow up to Nintendo's hugely popular Wii console is going to give the Wii a long overdue facelift. The Wii U sports a slate controller that acts as a second window for creative new gaming views and accepts touch input for zany control options. Meanwhile, the Wii U will treat your TV to HD graphics equalling the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Nintendo promises its next-gen console will be more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3, and Ninty's USA president Reffie Fils-Aime has gone on the record as stating that the Wii U won't be launching till after April 1.

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